Day Four : Legislation and Laws about the use of images ?

”Legislation and Laws about the use of images ? ” by Patrick Dejarnac


Right of reply : belgian law of 23.06.1961 concerning diffamation or misinformation

Judicial condamnation. There must be an offense against the law :

  1. Privacy
  2. Image rights : In public areas, no law prohibits taking pictures of someone, but it is forbidden to broadcast the picture ore someone without their permission. Difference between private person and public person. Difference between information and business publications. « If we can deduce that the person has agreed tacitly and if the picture represents the original context and is used for information », it’s okay. Duration : 20 years after is was taken.
  3. Copyright : concerning the owner’s image, object, buildings or something else you are publishing. Duration : 70 years after the death’s owner.

No law concerning retouch pictures. But in political uses (right or left), it’s an old history :


5 May 1920, Lénine in Moscou with Trotski and Kamenew on the steps


Later, Trotski and Kamenew are replaced by five wood steps.

For students’ IP, questions you have to know the answer :

  • Which are the rules in your country concerning the copyrights, the images rights and privacy in this cases?
  • Which are the schools rules concerning such an use in your classroom?

And what about copyright and teaching? Creative Commons is an interesting alternative to share resources into a public environment.



7 thoughts on “Day Four : Legislation and Laws about the use of images ?

  1. Belgium is helping Jordi!!
    First of all, there is copyright on Superman, because the creators died in ’92 and ’96 (less than 70 years ago), but that is not your business 😛
    Next, you can write a reacting letter to the newspaper which has to be published (as Patrick explained this morning).
    Furthermore, your picture was found on google, but it isn’t used in the original context. So the best thing to do is: call a lawyer 🙂

    good luck Jordi!!

  2. In Austria you may publish a picture of a private person without approval, if
    – it’s no commercial use of the picture
    – “no legitimate interests of the person or his/her relatives are hurt.” Thereby the context of the image (subtitles,…) is also important.

    The topic of brands appearing in pictures might be problematic, especially in commercial use.

    As in Belgium:
    – group-pictures are allowed
    – photographing public places is allowed (special rights and rules for private areas)
    – image rights don’t apply, if someone appears in a landscape photo

    Concerning the copyright it’s not enough to write the name of the photographer into your publication. You need his/her actual approval.

  3. Romania Legislation:

    Regarding posting the photo on Facebook, Romanian legislation cannot do much because there is no legislation regarding this. Although Jordi owns the photo, because he made it public (without proper security and privacy settings), he allowed everyone to use and access the information.
    Legally, Romania does not permit the use of trademarked material (like the image of Superman). The paper would not have been allowed to post it because of the image of Superman. Regarding the newspaper post, Jordi has his right of reply. If the newspaper does not publish his reply, they are held responsible and may receive a fine. Jordi may also get himself a lawyer which could help him win in court.

  4. In Portugal, the law says that an image of someone can’t be exposed or reproduced in commercial use without her permission. If the person in question has already passed away, the person who has the legitimacy is a relative or an descendent. So Jordi can complain if his photo is on the newspaper.
    Regarding the photo on Facebook, Portugal don’t have any legislation about that, so the only thing that Jordi could do is to report the photo.

  5. In Switzerland, if the media (press, radio, television, etc.) publish something without asking, the concerned person has the right of reply. Since the day he got to know that they published something about him, he has 20 days to write to the company, or at the latest 3 months after they published it. Then, when the company receive it, they have to let him know if they accept to publish the answer or not. If they accept, the answer has to be showed as soon as possible to the public. If they refuse, they have to explain why. But if the company refuses to cooperate with the person or have bad arguments, he can ask the judge.

  6. – In Spain, the right of image is a fundamental right because it’s gathered in the 18th article of the Spanish Constitution. Also, the organic law 1/1982 in Spain states that there are two kinds of people: public figures and private figures. For private figures it is stated that it is illegal to spread the image, if the private figure is at their home, but it is permitted when this figure is in a public area. In both cases it is illegal to spread the identity. For public figures it is only legal to reproduce pictures of them when they’re in public areas or exercising their functions. That means that it is legal to take a picture of a singer during a concert and spread. We can photograph him at the beach and keep the photo in our house for private use, but it’s illegal to reproduce and spread it.
    – This law has a positive aspect and a negative one. Each individual is responsible for their identity and their image. They can show any picture of themselves on internet or any kind of social network, but no one else has the right to manipulate or show pictures of a another person. Individuals can make money out of their own image, but no one else can make money out of someone else’s image without their consent. The act of uploading a picture of yourself does not give anyone else the right to handle that photo. That’s why a paper should obtain the informed consent of everyone before using their image.
    – Concerning caricatures, the law allows the creation of caricatures only for public figures, not of private. Moreover, since caricatures have a sarcastic and humorist goal, they can entail also a violation of the right to honor. Let’s see an example: the drawing of a politician with his pockets full of money is not by itself a violation of the rights of image nor honor, but if we also join a text saying “I should have bought a suit with more pockets”, then it is a violation to the right of honor.


  7. Denmark – Anne Sofie and Marita

    There are no specific rules in the personal data law about publishing pictures online without consent. In a few cases, the Danish data supervisory authority has used other laws to conduct a case. Every case has to be judged individually.

    Basically, a published picture has to be harmless; the person on a picture must not feel insulted or offended. But if you publish a portrait of someone, he has to give their consent. If he hasn’t, he can take legal action against you.



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